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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 

PRESENTED BY 

Rev. Edsel M. Huffstetler 



FC285.09 
G8lb 



FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 



Form No. A- 368 



BUFFALO PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

1756-1981 
225 Years of Christian Service 



WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY 
Moir M. Ayers 

Much information for this work was taken from History of Buffalo 

Presbyterian Church And Her People by the Rev. S.M. Rankin and 

from the Sessional Records of the church. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

225th Historical Committee: Mr. W. Herbert M. Tucker, Sr., 

Mr. Moir M. Ayers, Mrs. Edward W. Fishburne, Mr. H. Clay Lambeth, 

Mrs. Thomas E. McKnight, Jr., and the Rev. Edsel M. Huffstetler. 

Appreciation to those who assisted in the preparation of this book: 

Mrs. Moir M. Ayers, Mrs. Sherman E. Hines, 

the Rev. Edsel M. Huffstetler and Mr. Hubert Nail. 

Thomas Printing Company 

Greensboro, North Carolina 

1981 



PHOTOGRAPHY 

Mr. Gary Evans, Mr. Clarence Hinshaw, Mr. E.W. Fishburne, Mr. Herman Bell, and other 
sources 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/buffalopresbyterOOayer 






This Pictorial History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church is presented to remind us of the 
rich heritage of the past two hundred and twenty-five years, and to make us more aware of the 
Rock from which we are hewn. It is dedicated to the thousands of worshipers who have ren- 
dered faithful service to Him over these many years, mindful of the promise that our Heavenly 
Father will attend us if we honor Him. 



'How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!" 

- Psalm 84:1 






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CONTENTS 

A Brief History of Buffalo Church 1 

Pastors 3 

Music at Buffalo 18 

Women's Work at Buffalo 22 

Men of the Church 26 

Church Grounds and Buildings 28 

Celebrations and other Meetings of Note 40 

Outreach 46 

Christian Education 47 

Christmas at Buffalo 48 

Thanksgiving at Buffalo 52 

Historical Records 53 

Buffalo Church Today 55 




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A Brief History of Buffalo Church 

The people who settled here at Buffalo were a sturdy Scottish-Irish stock who took an 
active part and wielded great influence in the formative period of the history of the United 
States. These men and women were true Christians. Having been through much religious per- 
secution, they came looking for a place where they could worship God according to the dic- 
tates of their own conscience. 

There was a constant emigration from Scotland to Ireland from 1610 to 1688. The 
greatest number emigrated between 1610 and 1625, and no doubt the ancestors of many of the 
people of Buffalo came into Ireland at that time. Conditions were favorable for them for more 
than a generation. Then the English Parliament began inflicting economic trials upon them, 
virtually depriving them of their civil rights. By 1714 laws had been passed denying them their 
church and religious rights and living in Ireland became almost unbearable. As soon as they 
were able to secure passage, they made their way to America where they located first in New 
England and later (1720) in Philadelphia. From 1740 to 1750 they came into Pennsylvania at 
the rate of ten thousand per year. 

The first settlers of the Buffalo community came from the Nottingham Colony of Lan- 
caster County, Pennsylvania. Agents from the Nottingham Company were sent to survey and 
secure rights from the Earl of Granville for thirty-three plots of land lying on the waters of 
North Buffalo and Reedy Fork Creeks. The land consisted of 21,120 acres but there were no 
settlers on it before these people came. There must have been about nineteen families in the 
company that actually located here. 

The people did not completely own the land because the Earl of Granville retained an 
interest in it. The contract required them to pay a nominal sum to bind the trade, to make cer- 
tain improvements on the land, and to pay an annual rent of three shillings per hundred acres. 
The rent was paid in equal, semi-annual installments probably in the spring and fall. 

The exact date of the coming of the colony cannot be established. It may have been 
1751 when arrangements were made; on the other hand, the settlers might have come in 1752 
and failed to get their grants of land until 1753. However, because of the dates of deeds in 
December, 1753, it appears they arrived here in the summer of 1753. 

The first recorded preaching service in this community on August 31, 1775, was con- 
ducted by the Reverend Hugh McAden, a missionary from Pennsylvania. On the previous Sab- 
bath, Mr. McAden had preached at Hawfields in Alamance County. This would have been two 
years after the colony had settled here. Other missionaries had visited here before and after Mr. 
McAden but the dates of their visits were not recorded. 

We have no record of the exact date of the organization of the Buffalo Church. Rev. J.C. 
Alexander, who was pastor of the church from 1861 to 1886, wrote a sketch of the church in 
which he states that it was organized in 1756. Others who made a study of the Presbyterian 
history of North Carolina, and especially Orange Presbytery, state that Buffalo was organized 
in 1756 and that it was supplied by missionaries until Dr. David Caldwell came in 1765. 



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Graves of David and Rachel Caldwell 



PASTORS 



DR. DAVID CALDWELL 
1768 - 1820 



Dr. David Caldwell, the first pastor of Buffalo Church, was born in Lancaster County, 
Pennsylvania, March 22, 1725. He graduated from Princeton University in 1761 and taught 
school at Cape May for one year while he studied theology. He returned to Princeton in 1762 
where he was employed as a tutor in the college, and where he also continued his studies in 
preparation for the ministry. On August 18, 1763, he was licensed to preach and was appointed 
to supply some small churches in New Jersey. In 1764 he was sent by the Synod of Philadelphia 
as a missionary to North Carolina and while here supplied Buffalo and Alamance Churches. In 
the spring of 1765, he went back to New Jersey and carried with him a call from Buffalo and 
Alamance. On July 6, 1765, he was ordained by New Brunswick Presbytery and dismissed to 
New Hanover Presbytery of Virginia, which at that time had jurisdiction over all the territory of 
North Carolina. By appointment of the Presbytery, the Reverend Hugh McAden preached the 
installation sermon on March 3, 1768, installing Dr. Caldwell as pastor of Alamance and Buf- 
falo. 

David Caldwell married Rachel Craighead, the third daughter of the Reverend Alexan- 
der Craighead who was pastor of a group of churches in Mecklenburg County. He had known 
her as a little girl in Pennsylvania. David and Rachel Caldwell had twelve children, four of 
whom died in infancy. Rachel Caldwell was a courageous and capable woman. She found time 
to assist her husband, her children, and neighbors and friends in time of need. In the trying days 
of the Revolutionary War, when her husband was away from home, she showed great courage 
and dedication in caring for others. Rachel Caldwell died in 1825. 

There is no way to measure the good done by David Caldwell. He served Buffalo for 
fifty-six years. He was a strong preacher, a sympathetic pastor, a great patriot, an efficient 
physician, a wise counselor, a statesman, and an outstanding teacher in church and state, 
loving and loved by his people. 

In the book, A Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, DD. by the 
Rev. E.W. Caruthers, we read: "It is said that Dr. Caldwell was never known to be in a passion, 
to show a revengeful spirit, or to lose his self possession; but the most striking trait in his 
character, perhaps, was that of overcoming evil with good; and so much was this a habit with 
him as to give rise and currency to the remark that no man ever did Dr. Caldwell an injury 
without receiving some expression of kindness in return." He died August 25, 1824, lacking 
seven months of being one hundred years of age. He is buried in the Buffalo Cemetery. 




DR. ELI W. CARUTHERS 
1820 - 1846 



Dr. Eli W. Caruthers, the second pastor, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, 
October 26, 1799, and was reared in Thyatira Church. He was educated at Princeton University 
where he graduated in 1817. Dr. Caruthers paid a visit to Dr. Caldwell in 1819, and while here 
was asked to preach at Alamance Church. The pastor and people were so well-pleased with the 
young minister that he was employed as Dr. Caldwell's assistant. In 1820 when Dr. Caldwell 
retired from active work, the churches of Alamance and Buffalo called Dr. Caruthers as their 
pastor. He was ordained and installed in the fall of 1820. In the spring of 1846 he resigned as 
pastor of Buffalo and gave full time to Alamance. He resigned as pastor of Alamance in 1861 
because of feeble health. 

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr. Caruthers. Most of what we know about Dr. 
Caldwell and the Revolutionary War in this area was the result of the writings of Dr. Caruthers. 
He was a well-educated man, and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina. He was a man with strong convictions enabling him to be a good 
preacher. He never married. For a number of years he lived in Greensboro and taught in the old 
Greensboro Academy, and then later in Greensboro High School. Dr. Caruthers died on 
November 11, 1865. He is buried in the Alamance Cemetery. 




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THE REV. CYRUS K. CALDWELL 
1847 - 1859 



Cyrus K. Caldwell, the third pastor, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in 
1821, the son of the Reverend S.C. Caldwell and grandson of Dr. David Caldwell. He was 
educated at Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary. In January, 1847, he came to 
supply Buffalo Church, and was subsequently called as its pastor where he was ordained and 
installed the following December 14. He married Julia, daughter of ruling elder David Wharton, 
in 1849. She died within a few months after their marriage. In 1855 he married Fannie A. 
McKinly and they lived at what was known as the Spruce Place on the south side of North Buf- 
falo Creek. He resigned this pastorate in 1859, and was the pastor of a church in Pittsboro, 
North Carolina from 1860 to 1866. In his latter years he moved to Tennessee and became the 
pastor of the Denmark Church which he served until his death on March 29, 1876. The 
Reverend Cyrus K. Caldwell is buried in Jackson, Tennessee. 



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THE REV. JAMES CALVIN ALEXANDER 
1861 - 1886 



The Reverend James Calvin Alexander, the fourth pastor of Buffalo Church was born in 
Fancy Hill, Lincoln County, North Carolina, October 2, 1831. He was educated at Davidson 
College, Union Theological Seminary, and also Columbia Theological Seminary where he 
graduated in 1859. He was licensed by Concord Presbytery, and supplied Ramah Church. In 
the spring of 1861 Buffalo and Bethel Churches called him as pastor and he was ordained and 
installed at Buffalo on July 21, 1861. 

Mr. Alexander was a much beloved pastor. He had many calls to other churches, but 
the people made such strong protests that he would not leave. He had the rare combination of 
being both a good preacher and a strong pastor. Since he was well-liked by the young people as 
well as the old, Mr. Alexander was included in much of the social life of the community. He was 
a leader and an example in the Presbytery. When there were hard problems to solve, his 
brethren always sought his counsel. He served as moderator of the Presbytery twice, and of the 
Synod once. He died suddenly on November 15, 1886, and is buried in the beautiful Buffalo 
Cemetery. 

Rosa Alexander Carruthers, a decendant of James Calvin Alexander, is an active mem- 
ber of the congregation today. 




THE REV. RICHARD WATT CULBERTSON 
1887 - 1892 



Our fifth pastor, the Reverend Richard Watt Culbertson was born in Woodleaf, Rowan 
County, North Carolina, March 26, 1860. After graduating from Davidson College in 1883, he 
taught in the public schools. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1887. He 
received a call from Buffalo Church October 2, 1887, and was ordained and installed on 
November 19. Mr. Culbertson had a short pastorate of only five years, but he made many con- 
tributions during that period. He was a forceful preacher and a tireless worker. The Midway 
Church was organized, the church building erected, and the manse at Bessemer built during 
this short period. In the spring of 1892 he accepted a call to the Hawfields and Cross Road 
Churches. After a successful pastorate at Hawfields, he moved to Concord Presbytery and was 
pastor of the Center and Prospect Churches from 1908 to 1915. From 1915 to 1920 he was 
pastor of Poplar Tent and Gilwood. He moved to Mecklenburg Presbytery where he was pastor 
of the Central Steele Creek and Pleasant Hill Churches from 1920 to 1930. He died in 1932 and 
is buried in Mooresville, North Carolina. 




THE REV. JOSIAH McLEOD SEABROOK 
1892 - 1904 

The Reverend Josiah McLeod Seabrook, the sixth pastor, was born on James Island, 
South Carolina, in 1852. He graduated from Davidson College in 1877, and from Columbia 
Theological Seminary in 1880. He was ordained by Lexington Presbytery of Virginia in 1881 
and held several pastorates in Virginia and South Carolina before coming to Buffalo Church. 
Mr. Seabrook was forty years old when he was called as pastor on July 17, 1892, and he served 
faithfully until the fall of 1904. It is interesting to note that he was the first pastor who was not a 
young man just out of school when called to this church. His ministry proved to be a happy one, 
and he was loved by the people. After leaving Buffalo he served Gordonsville and Wills 
Memorial Churches in Virqinia. He died in 1905. 



8 




THE REV. JAMES WILLIAM GOODMAN 
1905 - 1911 



The Reverend James William Goodman, the seventh pastor, was born in Rowan 
County, North Carolina, December 26, 1867. He was reared in Thyatira Church where his 
father was a ruling elder. He graduated from Davidson College in 1895, and from Union 
Theological Seminary in 1898. Mr. Goodman was ordained by Orange Presbytery September 
29, 1898, and installed as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in High Point, which he 
served until 1900. In January, 1905, he was called to Buffalo, Midway, and Bessemer 
Churches, and served Buffalo until November, 1911. He accepted a call to the Hawfields 
Church and served there until 1917. Later he accepted a call to the Antioch Church in the 
Fayetteville Presbytery where he served until his death in 1924. He is buried in the Thyatira 
Cemetery. 




THE REV. GEORGE W. OLDHAM 
1912 - 1913 



The Reverend George Oldham, our eighth pastor, was born in Orange County, North 
Carolina, November 20, 1879, the son of the late Thomas J. Oldham, a ruling elder in the 
Bethlehem Church. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1904, and from Un- 
ion Theological Seminary in 1912. That same year he was called by Buffalo in April, ordained 
September 26, and installed as pastor October 20. Mr. Oldham served Buffalo for only one 
year, the shortest pastorate in the long history of the church. He resigned in July, 1913 to ac- 
cept a call to the Yanceyville group of churches, which he served until 1921. He died Septem- 
ber 9, 1964. 



10 




DR. ELI FRANKLIN LEE 
1913 - 1923 



Dr. Eli Franklin Lee, our ninth pastor, was born in Sampson County, North Carolina in 
1878, and was reared in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He received his education at Trinity 
College (now Duke University) and Union Theological Seminary, New York, from which he 
graduated in 1905. He united with the Northern Presbyterian Church and preached in and 
around New York City. Dr. Lee moved south to accept work in Birmingham, Alabama, but 
shortly afterwards was called to Buffalo Church. During his ten years of service at Buffalo, two 
hundred and eleven new members were added to the roll. In 1924 he united with the North 
Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Dr. Lee served several 
Methodist churches before his death in Durham, June 7, 1930. 



11 




THE REV. ALBERT PICKETT DICKSON 
1924 - 1956 

Our tenth pastor, the Reverend Albert Pickett Dickson, was born in Raeford, North 
Carolina, September 5, 1886, the son of Dr. A.P. Dickson, Sr., a ruling elder in the Raeford 
Presbyterian Church. He graduated from Davidson College in 1909 and from Union 
Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia in 1915. His first pastorate, from 1915 to 1919, 
was at Williamsville, Virginia. His second pastorate was in Franklin, West Virginia. In May, 
1924, Mr. Dickson was called by the Buffalo congregation to be the pastor, and his first service 
here was on July 13, but he was not installed until November 30, 1924. 

Many events in Buffalo history took place during the Dickson years. The Manse on the 
comer of Church and Sixteenth Streets was built in the 1920's, and the Rachel Caldwell 
Educational Building was constructed in the early 1950's. More than two hundred members 
were added to the rolls during the first nine years of Mr. Dickson's pastorate, and the church 
felt secure during this period of history. The second World War began and the Buffalo people 
were a vital part of that terrible war. 

Mr. Dickson was an excellent student, a great Bible teacher, an authority on current 
events, a lover of nature, and a kind and lovable person. Mrs. Dickson, nee Maude Bragg, was a 
great source of help to her husband, and from this union came Dr. Albert Pickett Dickson, III, a 
physician practicing in Newland, North Carolina, and a daughter, Maude Baker, who resides in 
Kentucky. Mr. Dickson retired in September, 1956 after thirty-two years of faithful service at 
Buffalo. He died on July 26, 1974 and is buried in Plum Tree, North Carolina. 



12 




THE REV. EDWARD LEE WILLINGHAM, III 
1957 - 1962 

The late 1950's brought change and excitement to our church. Our eleventh pastor, the 
Reverend Edward Lee Willingham, III came to us in crucial times and was equal to the situa- 
tion. 

Mr. Willingham was born in Augusta, Georgia, December 6, 1927. He graduated from 
Davidson College in 1948 and later from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia 
in 1951. His first pastorate was with the Hollywood and Chicod Presbyterian Churches near 
Greenville, North Carolina. A call was issued to him in January, 1957 and he preached his first 
sermon at Buffalo on April 5, 1957. He was a strong preacher and an effective pastor. He had a 
splendid tenor voice and also played the piano. Mr. Willingham was beloved by the congrega- 
tion. The church grew from 374 members to 515 during his five years as pastor. Special 
emphasis was given to missionary work and a strong appeal was made for the members to con- 
sider full-time Christian service. Two business men, Raymon L. White and Samuel R. Williams, 
left their profitable businesses and went into the Christian ministry. 

Mr. Willingham was married to the former Patricia Donnell from Goldsboro, whose 
grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents are buried in Buffalo 
Cemetery. Patricia Donnell is actually a descendant from the early settlers who came with the 
Nottingham Colony. Pat was active in the Choir, Women of the Church work, and in many 
other phases of the work of the church. In March, 1962, Mr. Willingham accepted a call to the 
Columbia Prebyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia. 



13 




THE REV. GRAY WATSON HAMPTON, JR. 
1962 - 1968 

The Rev. Gray Watson Hampton, Jr., the twelfth pastor of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, 
was born in Huntington, West Virginia on April 10, 1928. He graduated from Davidson College 
in 1951, and after graduation was employed by Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany in Charlotte, North Carolina. On leaving Southern Bell, he served as an officer in the 
United States Navy, traveling to the South Pole, Japan, Australia and many parts of the world. 
In June 1960 he had the unusual distinction of receiving both his Bachelor of Divinity Degree 
from Union Theological Seminary and his Master of Christian Education Degree from the 
Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond. Mr. Hampton's first pastorate was at 
the Sunset Hills Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. A call was issued to him in 
September 1962 and he preached his first sermon here, November 4, 1962. 

During Mr. Hampton's pastorate, the church liquidated the debt of remodeling and ex- 
tending the sanctuary, and also built the new David Caldwell Building. He was instrumental in 
establishing a week-day kindergarten and a church library. He was a dedicated minister and a 
fine Christian man. Mr. Hampton is married to the former Julia Ralston, whose father was Dr. 
Holmes Ralston. Dr. Ralston served with the Board of Christian Education in Richmond, 
Virginia. 

In March, 1968, Mr. Hampton accepted a call to become Associate Pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church in Huntington, West Virginia. 



14 




THE REV. EDSEL MARION HUFFSTETLER 
1969- 

Edsel Marion Huffstetler, our thirteenth and present pastor, was born March 29, 1923 
at Tuckaseege, near Mount Holly, North Carolina. He was the third of seven children born to 
George Graham and Jennie Lee Carpenter Huffstetler. He graduated from Belmont High 
School in Belmont, North Carolina in the year 1940. 

He was married to a high school classmate, the former Mildred Alyne Helms, and to 
them were bom three children: Edsel Marion, Jr., Karen Helms (Mrs. Larry T. Parsons) and 
Jonathan Lee. 

At the age of twenty-five he made a commitment of his life to Christ, and within fifteen 
months of his conversion he had been approved as a candidate for the ministry by Kings Moun- 
tain Presbytery and enrolled in Presbyterian College at Clinton, South Carolina. During his four 
years at Presbyterian College he served as student pastor of the St. Paul's Presbyterian Chapel 
of Chester, South Carolina. He graduated from Presbyterian College in the year 1953 and 
moved to Decatur, Georgia to enroll in Columbia Theological Seminary. 

During his three years at Columbia Seminary he served as student pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church of Barnesville, Georgia and Calvary Presbyterian Church of Elberton, 
Georgia. After graduation from Seminary in 1956 he moved back to Chester, South Carolina to 
become pastor of what had become St. Paul's Presbyterian Church. He was ordained to the 
ministry on July 22, 1956 by Bethel Presbytery and installed as pastor of St. Paul's Church. 



15 



In 1958, Mr. Huffstetler moved from Chester to become pastor of the First Presbyterian 
Church of Ellerbe, North Carolina where he stayed six years. In 1964 he moved to Panama 
City, Florida to become pastor of the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, serving there for four 
and one-half years. 

In November, 1968, he accepted the call to become pastor of Buffalo Church. He 
preached his first sermon here on Sunday, January 19, 1969 and was installed as pastor by 
Orange Presbytery on February 16. 

Mr. Huffstetler became pastor of Buffalo at an age beyond that of any of his predeces- 
sors. At the completion of his twelfth year he will be tied with two other pastors for the fifth 
longest pastorate of the thirteen. 

Under his leadership significant progress has been made in the area of stewardship. 
The per capita giving of the congregation has increased by 122 per cent. Indebtedness of the 
David Caldwell Building (completed about two years prior to his arrival) has been retired, with 
payments during these twelve years amounting to more than $230,000.00. Special gifts to the 
cause of World Missions have increased from $800.00 the first year to a goal of $11,000.00 in 
this twelfth year. 





The Rev. and Mrs. Edsel M. Huffstetler 



17 



MUSIC AT BUFFALO 

Music has always been a vital part of the worship at Buffalo Church. In the early years, 
only the Psalms of David in meter were used, while our sister church, Alamance, sang the 
melodious strains of the hymns of Issac Watts. Buffalo held to the Old Side, the conservatives, 
in the bitter division in the Presbyterian Church in 1741, largely on the subject of revivals, while 
Alamance held to the New Side. After the Great Revival of 1800, Buffalo used the Watts hymns 
for many years. Since that time hymnals approved by our assembly have been used. In the 
early days members of the congregation owned their hymn books and carried them to and from 
the church services. 

For a hundred years the session selected a precentor or clerk to lead the music. He 
stood in front of the pulpit and directed the singing, reading two lines of the hymns at a time. 
This was necessary because of the scarcity of books. One such clerk was William D. Wharton 
who was only fifteen years old when he was chosen to lead. He held this position from 1855 to 
1907. How remarkable. 

No musical instrument was used until 1886, when the first organ was played by Mary 
Lee Wharton, daughter of William D. Wharton. Other early organists were Miss Mamie 
McMillan, Mrs. James RA. Wilson, and Mrs. J.I. Medearis whose son and daughter-in-law, Mr. 
and Mrs. John Medearis, continue their dedicated service as soloists and leaders in the choir. 
Mrs. George Oldham and Mrs. TJM. Sellars were also organists in the early years. 

In 1920 a fine upright piano was bought and Miss Mary Hendrix and Mrs. E. Frank Lee 
played. Other organists were Mrs. Linda Hendrix Gorrell, Miss Virginia Fields, Miss Catherine 
Wharton, Miss Mildred Knight and Mrs. R.E. Morrisert. Mrs. J. Lawson Dick served as choir 
leader from 1922 until 1929. Other choir directors were Mrs. Harry Bynum, Mrs. Carlotta 
Bames Jacoby, and Mrs. Garland Robeson who was also organist. 

In 1921 Mr. A.M. Scales gave a Moller pipe organ as a memorial to his son, Alfred 
Moore Scales, Jr. This organ cost about seven thousand dollars and was used until 1968 when 
it was replaced by a new Fritz organ. The lovely chimes were given by Mr. and Mrs. John 
Marshall in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Marshall. 

In the 1920's the custom of standing for the song service was adopted. Before that time 
the people sat to sing and stood during the prayer. The first choir robes were used in 1941. 

Mr. and Mrs. Moir Ayers became choir director and organist in 1940 and served in those 
positions until September 1, 1974. At that time Dr. David Foster, organ teacher at Greensboro 
College, became Organist-Choir Director for ten months. Following Dr. Foster, Mr. Claude 
Cooke was secured and remained for six months. Miss Laura Haygood, student at the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, Greensboro replaced Mr. Cooke on May 1, 1976 but because of a broken 
leg resigned on August 20, 1976. The present Organist-Choir Director, Charles Austin, came to 
Buffalo on January 1, 1977. 

Many fine, dedicated singers have come our way and are still serving in this capacity. 
The majestic organ selections have helped in making the music an inspiring part of our 
worship. From Handel's "Messiah" to Dubois' "Seven Last Words of Christ" from Bach's "Jesu, 
Joy of Man's Desiring" to the simplest Gospel hymn — all draw us nearer to our Master. 



18 



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WOMEN'S WORK AT BUFFALO 



From the very beginning the women of the church have been a powerful force in the life 
of Buffalo Church and also in the community. Our women were not neglectful of the Biblical 
command "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." Not only have they always entertained, they 
have taught, cooked, cleaned, and most important of all they have prayed. 

The leadership of our first lady, Rachel Craighead Caldwell was outstanding. Dr. 
Caruthers, in his book, The Life of Dr. David Caldwell, tells us that on the day of the Battle of 
Guilford Court House, Mrs. Caldwell and a number of women belonging to the Buffalo con- 
gregation met at the home of Robert Rankin and spent the greater part of the day in prayer. It 
was said that Dr. Caldwell made the scholars but that Rachel made the preachers. Again we 
learn from Dr. Caruthers that as early as 1799 a few women of the church under Mrs. 
Caldwell's leadership met regularly for more than a year to pray for revival. Their prayers were 
answered by a great revival that began in North Carolina in 1801. This revival was begun by 
the effective preaching of Rev. James McGreadv, a son of Buffalo Church. 

This was the pattern set for our women! The first record of the organized work of the 
women is found in the minutes of the Session in the year 1825. It seems that the organization of 
women carried the name of Female Benevolent Society. Only through the records of the Ses- 
sion have we any knowledge of the work done by the organization from its beginning to the 
year 1879. In 1879 the name was changed to Buffalo Home Mission and Aid Society. There 
were twenty-nine names on the roll, and Mrs. J.C. Alexander, the pastor's wife, was listed as 
president. 

As the saying goes, if you want to get something done get the women to do it. They have 
been behind every project undertaken by the church since its beginning. Since 1922 the 
Women's Birthday Offering has been given to numerous causes. The women sponsor the Joy 
Gift Program at Christmas, and the gift of money that serves many retired servants of the 
church and their dependents is always substantial. The women include in their budget the 
work of foreign missionaries. Buffalo women have helped sponsor many men and women 
during the past twenty-five years. The women have also provided scholarships to deserving 
young people during the past several years. 

Among the services rendered by our women is the selection of a Woman of the Year and 
a person to receive a Life Membership Award. Both of these honors go to worthy women and 
men who have served exceptionally well in the work of the church. Those who have been thusly 
honored are listed: 



22 



WOMAN OF THE YEAR 

BUFFALO PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

WOMEN OF THE CHURCH 



1947 


Mrs. A.P. Dickson 


1965 


1948 


Mrs. Carl Wharton 


1966 


1949 


Mrs. H. Clay Lambeth 


1967 


1950 


Mrs. Bertha Frazier 


1968 


1951 


Mrs. Harry R. Smith 


1969 


1952 


Miss Virginia Fields 


1970 


1953 


Mrs. M.C. Foust 


1971 


1954 


Mrs. R.W. Andrew 


1972 


1955 


Mrs. E.W. Fishburne 


1973 


1956 


Mrs. J.L Jones 


1974 


1958 


Mrs. Moir M. Ayers 


1975 


1959 


Mrs. H. Clay Lambeth 


1976 


1960 


Mrs. John W. Medearis 


1977 


1961 


Mrs. Otis B. Osborne 


1978 


1962 


Mrs. Troy Sutton 


1979 


1963 


Mrs. T.H. Ward 


1980 


1964 


Mrs. Mack Andrews 





Mrs. W.B. Thacker 
Mrs. J.O. Morphis 
Mrs. Carlotta B. Jacoby 
Miss. Swannie Pugh 
Mrs. David A. Lowe 
Mrs. John R. Hancock 
Miss Doris McKnight 
Mrs. Leonard H. Bell 
Mrs. A. Duncan McGirt 
Mrs. Samuel Hassall 
Mrs. Paul D. Kister 
Mrs. Sherman E. Hines 
Mrs. E.W. Thompson, Jr. 
Mrs. J. Woodrow Culbreth 
Mrs. Thomas E. McKnight, Jr. 
Mrs. Larry H. Russell 



5SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS 



LIFE MEMBERSHIP 

BUFFALO PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

WOMEN OF THE CHURCH 



1951 
1952 

1953 

1954 

1955 
1956 
1957 
1958 
1960 
1961 
1962 
1964 
1965 



Mrs. SJV1. Rankin 1966 

Mrs. Carl Wharton 1967 

Mrs. Mamie Phipps 1968 

Mrs. WP. Knight 1969 

Mrs. W.B. Thacker 1970 

Mrs. M.C. Foust 1971 

Mrs. James RA Wilson 1972 

Mrs. A.P. Dickson 1973 

Mrs. W.S. Moore 1974 

Mrs. Tom A. McKnight 1975 

Mrs. Charles E. Kerchner 1976 

Mrs. Cora McNeely 1977 

Mrs. Bertha Frazier 1978 

Mr. HA Barnes 1979 

Miss Frances Akerstrom 1980 
Mrs. Mack Andrews 



Mr. Moir M. Ayers 
Mrs. H.R. Smith 
Mrs. Harold C. Mills 
Miss Mary Julia Wilson 
Mrs. Carlotta Barnes Jacoby 
Mrs. Otis Osborne 
Mrs. Jimmie L. Jones 
Mrs. George D. Wyrick 
Mrs. Moir M. Ayers 
Mrs. E.W. Fishburne 
Mr. H. Clay Lambeth 
Mrs. Edward L. Chambers 
Mrs. John W. Medearis 
Mr. Otis Osborne 
Mrs. Robert W. Andrew 



23 




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Our Ladies Rolling Bandages for White Cross 




Getting Ready for Christmas — Chrismon Class 

Left to right: Doris Wyrick, Billie Ward, Ann Prater, Kaye Wilkins, Joann Weaner, Martha Os- 
borne, Jean Faye Gross, Mozelle Terrell, Juanita Nail, Katie Witherington, Judy Hoffman, 

Lucile Hassall. 

25 



MEN OF THE CHURCH 

It appears that the men's work under the name of The Men of the Church was 
organized in 1929 with HA. Barnes as president. This work was organized and operated in ac- 
cordance with the General Assembly's plan for men's work. The membership included all men 
in the church over 18 years of age and each man was encouraged to participate. 

In the early days of the organization the men were very active in sponsoring a thriving 
mission Sunday School at "Ham Town No. 2," a suburban settlement about two miles 
northeast of the church. They also made possible a preaching service there once each month. 
They sponsored the organization of a Boy Scout troop which was active for many years. Chris- 
tian social service such as "Christmas Cheer" for needy families and milk for needy school 
children was part of their work. Many deserving young people were sent to camp by these men. 
The organizing of Memorial Presbyterian Church, Guilford Park Presbyterian Church, and 
Hope View Presbyterian Church was made possible by their work. 

Our men have taken an active part in both the Presbytery and the Synod. Men's work in 
Orange Presbytery on an organized basis began with a meeting of some 75 representatives 
from various churches of the Presbytery at the First Presbyterian Church of Burlington on 
August 25, 1946 when an executive committee was elected. This committee was known as the 
Presbytery Men's Council and Mr. Charles E. Kerchner was president. Out of this group came 
the Men of Orange and Mr. Kerchner was the first president of this organization. The men's 
work in the Presbytery and the Synod was highly effective during those early years when men 
from all over the General Assembly gathered for conventions in Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, 
Dallas, and other places. 

Buffalo men are still endeavoring to carry out the real purpose of men's work which is to 
relate every man to the work of the church and the work of the church to every man. It is a job 
of manpower enlistment based on constructive efforts to inform and activate every man for 
whom the local church is responsible. It helps to teach men the history, beliefs, aims, and 
programs of our church which are built upon a solid foundation of Bible study. It strives to 
develop among men the skills of prayer, evangelism, friendliness, stewardship, teaching, and 
social service against a background of personal and spiritual development. 

Our early known presidents included HA. Barnes, J.S. Phipps, W.L. Wharton, Dr. W.P. 
Knight, TA. McKnight, Harry Bynum, and Charles E. Kerchner. Otis Osborne became presi- 
dent in 1944 and listed are the names and dates of the men who later filled this position. 



R.H. Souther 


1945 - 1946 


-1947 


Duncan McGirt 




1965 


Walter L. Thornburg 




1948 


Parks Norman 




1966 


Sherman E. Hines 




1949 


E.W. Thompson, Jr. 




1967 


J. Woodrow Culbreth 




1950 


John W. Medearis 




1968 


John W. Marshall 


1951 


-1952 


Garland L. Barker 




1969 


Joe W. Walters 


1953 


-1954 


Herbert Trost 


1970 


-1971 


E.L. Chambers 




1955 


Moir M. Ayers 


1972 


-1973 


John T. Jones 




1956 


Paul D. Kister 




1974 


J. Luther Brown 




1957 


Clifford L. Garrett 




1975 


Alton Wyrick 


1958 


•1959 


Herbert Tucker 




1976 


Harvey B. Powell 


1960 


•1961 


Leonard Bell 




1977 


Charles Johnston 




1962 


William H. Reeves 




1978 


Jay Kohler 




1963 


Otis B. Osborne 


1979 


-1980 


J. Norman Jones 




1964 









26 



Men of the Church Officers 
Left to right: Moir M. Ayers, John R. Walters, Jr., Otis B. Osborne, and Hodgin Donnell. 

27 



CHURCH GROUNDS AND BUILDINGS 

The first plot of church land was bought October 16, 1768 from Adam Mitchell for 
twenty shillings. The deed was made to John McKnight and William Anderson, trustees, and it 
is on record in Rowan County. There were other deeds; one dated September 20, 1827, another 
dated 1850 and a fourth deed dated July 7, 1860. 

The first church building stood inside the cemetery wall near the northwest corner. This 
building was constructed of logs as were all of the homes in this area. The second church 
building was a large frame building which stood near the southwest corner of the present 
cemetery. Our sister church, Alamance, had a building similar to this one at Buffalo. Dr. Calvin 
H. Wiley (1819-1887) describes the Alamance Church as a large frame building painted dark 
yellow, with four doors and over each door an ornamental portico. There was a gallery ex- 
tending along one side and across both ends which could be reached by two stairways. The 
building would hold 900 to 1,000 people. The bounds of Buffalo congregation covered a 
territory of at least six to fifteen miles from the church and there was no other church in these 
bounds until about the year 1800. 

The third building which is now in use was built in 1826. The contract was let to Jacob 
Albright who was to complete the new building in a neat and durable manner for the sum of 
$2,400.00 plus the old church building. The bricks were made on a lot just west of the church. 
They were molded by hand and well fired, as we can observe today. The building was 60 feet 
long and 40 feet wide. The pulpit was placed at the northern end and ten feet at the front of the 
church provided a vestibule. A gallery, which was reserved for the black people was built 
across the front end. It was originally planned to build galleries on both sides of the full length 
of the auditorium but this was never done. The building was completed during 1827, and as far 
as we are able to ascertain this was the first brick church building erected in Greensboro. 

In 1903 the third building was repaired and improved. An arched ceiling was placed 
below the old high ceiling. Other remodeling and repairs made were at a cost of $444.00 

In 1920, during the pastorate of Dr. E. Frank Lee, the first Sunday School building was 
erected. This building was named the David Caldwell Building in honor of our first pastor and 
was connected to the church building by a colonnade. This brick building had nine class rooms 
and was built for the sum of $30,000. During this same year a portico was added to the front of 
the church, an alcove was built in the rear of the pulpit to house a pipe organ, and heating 
plants were installed in both buildings. 

In 1951 the Rachel Caldwell Building was erected. The architecture of this building was 
designed after the David Caldwell Building and was joined to the main building by a colonnade. 
These three buildings made a beautiful sight reminding us of other colonial buildings seen in 
the eastern United States. The Rachel Caldwell Building consists of a large fellowship hall and 
kitchen, a ladies parlor, the Albright Auditorium with stage and four class rooms. This building 
houses the adult classes, and today the auditorium is used by Greensboro's Korean Church. 
This building was constructed for about $90,000, under the supervision of the Building Com- 
mittee members: E.W. Thompson, Jr., E.W. Fishburne, and J.L. Jones. 

In 1956 the walls of the sanctuary were extended to accomodate our growing congrega- 
tion. The architect, Thomas Heritage, a member of the church, was largely responsible for 
making it one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in the city. The building committee consisted of 
Jl. Jones, HA. Barnes, H.G. Waters, R.H. Armfield, Mrs. A.O. Spoon, Mrs. W.B. Thacker, E.W. 
Fishburne, and H.L. Brown, builder. The interior of the church was completely redecorated. 
The fixtures were chosen carefully to be in keeping with the colonial architecture of the ex- 
terior. In the vestibule the cornices, paneling, stairway, and light fixtures are all characteristic 
of those found in authentic colonial churches. The folding shutters at each window enhance the 
beauty of the sanctuary. 



28 




Buffalo Presbyterian Church's third Sanctuary, erected in 1827. The hand-made bricks 
in this building were made by Jacob Albright, and it is said that this was the first church 
building constructed of bricks in Guilford County. 



29 



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Saundra Evans made the following comments about Buffalo in an architectural and 
historical survey made in 1961. "Buffalo Church is an extremely well-preserved and well-kept 
building. Her members are justifiably proud of the heritage they have received from Buffalo's 
existence of more than two centuries. However, unless one were studying the buildings from an 
architectural viewpoint, as I endeavored to do, the architectural significance of Buffalo Church 
might not be immediately evident. This church has been so completely intergraded into its sur- 
roundings and has been decorated and furnished so carefully and tastefully in accordance to its 
architectural precedent that it has been an interesting and profitable assignment to work on." 

In 1966 the biggest building project yet undertaken by the church was the construction 
of a new David Caldwell Educational Building. This project cost more than $250,000.00. Under 
the leadership of the Rev. Gray Hampton and a building committee including J.L. Jones, MJM. 
Ayers, Mrs. L.G. Albright, Jr., Mrs. T.H. Ward and Sidney Campbell, finance chairman, the old 
David Caldwell Building was torn down and in its place the finest building we could imagine 
was begun. We all had tears in our hearts as the old building was torn away, but we were 
thrilled with the promise of something better. 

The new structure contains 16,000 square feet and its simplicity and beauty blend well 
with the old. The structure contains ten large classrooms, a pastor's study, office of director of 
Christian education, library, secretary's office, work room, fellowship hall which will seat 300 
to 400 people and a large, modern kitchen. This building today is used mainly for our young 
people and offices for the staff. Thomas Heritage was the architect for this fine building. The 
debt for this large undertaking will be paid in full for our 225th anniversary. 

On June 19, 1966 the congregation witnessed the laying of the cornerstone of the David 
Caldwell Building. It was a great day. Our former ministers, the Rev. AP. Dickson and the Rev. 
E. Lee Willingham, came for the celebration, and other friends were back to share this event 
with the Buffalo congregation. 

In 1966 when the new David Caldwell Building was constructed, the Session gave one 
of the elders, Mr. Moir Ayers, permission to create a Memorial Garden in memory of the 
church's honored dead. There was a natural space in an offset facing south in front of the 
building, which was perfect for such an undertaking. 

This mi nature formal garden is patterned after an old Savannah garden and blends per- 
fectly with the buildings and grounds. The framework of the garden is an octagonal walk con- 
structed of old, handmade bricks which came from the first David Caldwell Building. The focal 
point is a handsome birdbath made from Italian stone. English boxwood edge the brick walks 
and interspersed are many white azaleas (Gumpo variety). All of the materials used in the gar- 
den were donated by Buffalo members. Much love, prayer, thought, and money went into this 
undertaking. 

Upon entering the garden, one sees a bronze tablet which reads as follows: 

"In memory of those saints who labored and loved on these hallowed grounds, and who 
have now gone on to be with our Lord." 

"And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom he 
had formed." Genesis 2:8 

"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day . . 
. ." Genesis 3:8 

No lovelier spot can be found in Guilford County than the Buffalo Cemetery. A sacred 
spot that includes the graves of many of the early citizens of Greensboro. We find the graves of 
our beloved Dr. Caldwell and his wife Rachel Craighead Caldwell. We find the grave of the pop- 
ular Rev. J.C. Alexander, and in more recent years the grave of the Rev. SM. Rankin. There are 
stones bearing the names of Wharton, McKnight, Donnell, Denny, Mitchell, McAdoo, and 
scores of others. 

The entire cemetery is surrounded by a rock wall. The English boxwood planted more 
than 200 years ago are beautiful. Some have grown to a height of ten feet, and their beauty is 
enjoyed twelve months of the year. Cedar trees stand majestically in the area and several young 
cedars are beginning to grow. In the spring, spirea and forsythia enhance the grounds. During 
the pastorate of Lee Willingham the Easter Sunrise Service was held in the cemetery. To see 
the sun rise over these ancient cedars was a memorable experience. A row of crepe myrtle trees 
was planted along the north rock wall in 1979. 



32 



The early grave stones were poorly marked; many have been destroyed or have crum- 
bled away. Stones were hard to get in those early days and many were only field stones or soap 
stones marked by hand. The oldest stone with dates and lettering is for Mary Starrett, wife of 
Benjamin, bom 1723 and died 1775. We are sure there were other burials before this date. In 
the past forty or fifty years the markers have been larger and much more durable than the older 
ones. 

In 1956 when the sanctuary was extended, several graves were lost as the building ex- 
tended into the cemetery. A few slab type stones were placed in the wall of the extended choir 
loft. It was again necessary in 1965, with the construction of the new David Caldwell Building, 
to remove graves and place them in other parts of the cemetery. 

The Board of Trustees who had vision and foresight during the early 1900's included 
the following men: Dr. W.P. Knight, HA. Barnes, Thomas A. McKnight, Carl L. Wharton, and 
W. Gilmer Wharton. These men were largely responsible for the preservation of the cemetery to 
this day. The Cemetery Trustees, 1980 include Thomas E. McKnight, Chairman; E.W. 
Fishburne, Treasurer; Leonard H. Bell; John R. Schoolfield; William F. McAdoo, Jr. 

There have been many contributions made to the Cemetery Endowment Fund 
throughout the years, but none as substantial as that given by the late HA Barnes. His love 
and concern for Buffalo and her people impelled him to leave a large endowment to ensure per- 
petual care for the sacred grounds. 




33 




The Glory of Spring 



34 





More Glory of Spring 



35 





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Tulips, Spirea, Azaleas, and White Dogwood make a dazzling display. 



36 





The Spirea and Forsythia try to outshine each other. 



37 




The Cemetery in Spring 




Snowfall at Christmas 



38 




George Harris, our sexton 




39 



CELEBRATIONS AND OTHER MEETINGS OF NOTE 



An important celebration at Buffalo Church was the centennial observance of the in- 
stallation of Dr. Caldwell as pastor which was held in 1868 during a meeting of Orange 
Presbytery. Dr. Calvin H. Wiley, noted educator who was baptized by Dr. Caldwell, was the 
speaker. 

On October 19, 1919 a campaign was launched under the leadership of Dr. E. Frank 
Lee to raise funds to erect a Sunday School Building. Mr. A.M. Scales spoke on the subject, 
"The Life and Labors of Dr. David Caldwell." Other speakers were: The Rev. R. Murphy 
Williams, pastor of the Church of the Covenant of Greensboro, Mr. Bernard Cone of White Oak 
Mills and Mr. E. Sternberger of the Revolution Mills. The campaign was launched and great in- 
terest was awakened. Within months a committee had thirty thousand dollars in cash and sub- 
scriptions. A contract was let to Mr. Lee Jackson and the David Caldwell Building was 
constructed. 

The one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of Buffalo Church was observed on Oc- 
tober 18, 1931. The speakers were Dr. Walter Lingle, president of Davidson College, and our 
own Rev. S.M. Rankin who spoke on "Buffalo and Her Pioneers." Mrs. J. Sterling Jones of 
Greensboro presented the church a memorial tablet commemorating Dr. Caldwell, her great, 
great grandfather. The tablet was unveiled for the sanctuary by a great, great grandson, 
Caldwell Roane of Winston-Salem and accepted by the Rev. A.P. Dickson, pastor of the church. 
Twenty-five years later on September 16, 1956 an identical memorial tablet to honor Rachel 
Craighead Caldwell was presented to Buffalo Church by the Rachel Caldwell Chapter of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution. The tablet was unveiled by Shirley Bernau and Robin 
Farr, descendants of Rachel and David Caldwell, and accepted by Elder TA McKnight. 

A wonderful celebration was held in 1956, commemorating the church's 200th year. 
Plans for this celebration began in the forties, with neither effort nor expense being spared. 

For this special occasion an outdoor drama was presented for three nights. Mr. HA 
Barnes was instrumental in securing Mrs. Samuel Seldon of Chapel Hill to write the script for 
this pageant. Mrs. Seldon spent months on research for the exciting drama about Buffalo and 
her people. Miss Grace Van Dyke Moore, an instructor at the University of North Carolina, 
Greensboro, wrote the scenario. 

"Let Freedom Ring" portrayed the early settling of the Buffalo congregation, the 
Revolutionary War, the War of the Regulators, and the signing of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence in 1776. The cast, directed by Moir Ayers, consisted of members of Alamance and Buf- 
falo congregations. The main characters were David Caldwell, played by Harvey Powell, and 
Rachel Caldwell, portrayed by Mrs. Robert Andrew. Almost everyone in the church helped in 
some way: building three outdoor stages, making costumes, acting or singing, making props, 
or handling the lights. At the conclusion of the drama with the singing of "America," when the 
flag of the United States was raised, there were not many dry eyes. 

In an article written in the Textorian (Cone Mills publication) Lelah Nell Masters, editor, 
said: "Buffalo Presbyterian Church should be to each of us a symbol of our past and a chal- 
lenge to our future. Although, to us, 200 years may seem a very long time, in relation to the 
great clock of eternity, it is less than a second. Therefore, we must not rely too much on our 
past, glorious though it may be, but be constantly on the lookout for subtle forces hacking 
away at destroying our way of life." 

"It is important, therefore, that we continue to seek righteousness and constantly renew 
in our minds and hearts the true meaning of the word democracy. We feel sure that all who saw 
the drama, 'Let Freedom Ring', will never forget why our forebears came to this country, and 
that they have rededicated themselves to this 'sweet land of liberty'." 



40 



Along with the drama of the two hundredth anniversary celebration there were other 
events included in the week-end of June 15-17, 1956. A reception was held on Saturday after- 
noon and, on Sunday following the morning worship service, a homecoming picnic was held 
on the grounds. The Rev. James T. Donnell, a descendant of the church, spoke at 11:00 A.M. on 
the topic, "The Progress of the Gospel." The picnic in the usual Buffalo style, delicious and 
bountiful, and visits with old friends made this a memorable occasion. 

When our nation celebrated its 200th birthday on July 4, 1976, Buffalo combined its 
220th birthday with that of the nation. On June 12-13 open house was held for visitors. On 
Saturday night, scenes from "Let Freedom Ring" were presented in the Albright Auditorium. 
Dr. John A. Redhead, former minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, was the 
speaker at the worship service on Sunday morning. A bountiful dinner was served on the 
grounds at noon followed by a program of patriotic music by the Greensboro Oratorio Society 
under the direction of Mr. Don Trexler. 

Buffalo Church has been host to many groups over the years. The Daughters of the 
American Revolution, musical organizations, Christian groups and other groups have been 
welcomed at Buffalo. Of special note are the meetings of Presbytery which have been held at 
Buffalo. New Hanover Presbytery met here on March 3, 1768. This was the third meeting of this 
Presbytery in North Carolina. At this important meeting Dr. Caldwell was installed as pastor. 
New Hanover Presbytery met here again in March, 1770. Records show that Presbytery met 
eight or ten times at Buffalo from 1770-1921. In recent years the following meetings were held: 

January 15, 1959 — E. Lee Willingham, III, pastor 

June 22, 1967 — Gray W. Hampton, Jr., pastor 

January 28, 1971 — Edsel M. Huffstetler, pastor 




41 



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Rachel and David Caldwell portrayed by Mrs. RW. Andrew 
and Harvey Powell in "Let Freedom Ring" — 1956 




The Morning Worship Service 



45 



OUTREACH 

In the summer of 1929, the organized Men of Buffalo Church wanted to perform some 
definite service in connection with their monthly programs. These men were led to begin a Sun- 
day School in the community known as "Jim Hamtown" nearly two miles northeast of the 
church. A vacant store building was rented where the first Sunday School was held on Sunday, 
October 1, 1929. Interest grew and soon the small room became inadequate, impelling the men 
to start a fund to build a larger facility. A lot was purchased ( 100 x 1 50 feet) for the sum of $250, 
and in the Summer of 1936 digging for the foundation was begun. 

A brick veneer chapel was constructed, in the shape of a T, with an auditorium and four 
classrooms. A large basement was excavated and floored with concrete, and a hot-air furnace 
installed. The first Sunday School service was held in the new building in April, 1937. The new 
chapel was dedicated, in a special service, on Sunday afternoon, April 7, 1940. The building 
was packed with people. 

Tribute should be paid to those who labored faithfully in this undertaking. The Men of 
the Church appointed Mr. J.I. Medearis and Mr. J.S. Phipps to start the work of the Sunday 
School. Mr. Medearis served with unflagging interest and zeal until his death in June, 1978. 
Mrs. Joe Phipps and Miss Swanie Pugh spent untold hours in the work of the Chapel, and in the 
early years Miss Mary Bangle and Mr. HA. Barnes gave unstintedly of their time and money. 

Without the interest, the sacrificial gifts, the labors and prayers of all the people of the 
community and church this work would not have succeeded. Shortly after the new building was 
first used for services, the people decided to call it Buffalo Chapel and in later years it was 
named Hope View Presbyterian Church. 

In the autumn of 1939 the Men of the Church began looking for a second outpost Sun- 
day School. A survey was made by HA. Barnes and J.S. Phipps of property on the McKnight 
Mill Road, about three miles from the church. After a lot 90V2 by 547 feet was purchased for 
two hundred dollars, a building committee was appointed. Mr. Barnes served as general chair- 
man and Mr. Rita Armfield as chairman of the committee for construction. Others serving on 
the committee were: TA. McKnight, L.E. Sikes, M.C. Foust, Mrs. Carl L. Wharton, and Mr. Bart 
Summers. A frame building 24 x 24 feet was constructed in early 1940 costing approximately 
$650.00 The first service was held in March of that year. 

The Session of the church appointed Elder M.C. Foust superintendent of the new Sun- 
day School, with Mrs. Foust to work with him. Their son, Mac Foust, who is now a Presbyterian 
minister, helped mightily with the early work. This outpost was named North Buffalo Chapel, 
but when the church was organized the congregation named it Memorial Presbyterian Church. 

At a meeting of a church-wide committee (all Presbyterian churches in the city of 
Greensboro) on Wednesday night, October 8, 1946, at the First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo 
Church was offered the Fairfield Community for location of a proposed outpost chapel. The 
Session of Buffalo Church approved this project at a meeting October 11, 1946. The congrega- 
tion voted on February 2, 1947 to canvass the members for funds with which to start the Fair- 
field Chapel. A committee consisting of W.L. Thornburg, Hobart Souther, HA. Barnes, Robert 
Gregory, TA. McKnight and Mr. Dickson (ex officio) was appointed to handle the project. 

Lacy D. Wyrick agreed to serve as superintendent of the newly organized Sunday 
School, and the first meeting was held on July 13, 1947. Upon application for certificates of 
membership and dismission, Mr. and Mrs. L.C. Criscoe, and Miss Bertha Anthony were granted 
such certificates to permit them to become charter members of the newly organized 
Presbyterian church in the Fairfield-Kirkwood Community. A petition was presented to 
Presbytery meeting at the First Presbyterian Church in High Point on January 13, 1948, asking 
permission to organize formally as a church. Organization was effected at the 11:00 o'clock 
service in the new church on February 1, 1948. The name of the church became officially 
Guilford Park Presbyterian Church. 



46 



CHRISTIAN EDUCATION 

Presbyterians have been strong believers in Christian Education since our nation was 
founded. Many of our church-related universities and colleges have their roots in the 
Presbyterian Church. Several signers of the Declaration of Independence were Presbyterians. It 
is interesting to note that David Caldwell was asked to serve as the first president of the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Buffalo has always been a strong church in its teaching of the catechisms. Dr. 
Caldwell's Log College drew pupils from all over the south, and it was said to be the best 
classical school south of the Potomac. Dr. Caldwell not only taught the usual secular branches 
of learning, but he also taught the Bible and the principles of true character. According to Dr. 
Caruthers at least fifty ministers of the Gospel were educated in whole or in part in his school. 
In early years the people came to church on Saturday to prepare for the Lord's Day on Sunday. 
The Sabbath School is first mentioned in the minutes in 1870, but it must have been 
organized shortly after Dr. Caruthers became the pastor. Dr. Caruthers was a great believer in 
the Sabbath Schools, and by 1829 he had succeeded in organizing all the schools of the county 
into a Sunday School Union. The catechism continued to be a useful aid in teaching the 
children and was especially used during the Rev. A.P. Dickson's pastorate. Most of the children 
learned the Child's Catechism and the Shorter Catechism. Many adults became interested in 
memorizing scripture. When she was in her seventies, Mrs. Cora McNeely recited the 
Catechism. 

The first Director of Christian Education was Miss Frances Mashburn (Mrs. Ed 
Johnson) who was hired on June 1, 1945. Moir M. Ayers served in that capacity from May 1, 
1946 until the summer of 1964. Mr. Ayers was succeeded by Miss Sue Dean (Mrs. Silas B. 
Langfitt) who served as Director of Christian Education until June, 1967. Mrs. A.E. Roberts, Sr. 
served as Director of Christian Education from July, 1967 until October, 1973. Miss Kathy Kier 
(Mrs. Don Malone) served from May, 1975 until December, 1976. Our present Director of 
Christian Education is Miss Katie Witherington who came to us on June 1, 1979. 

The Bible was and is the source of our Christian Educational program. As Christians 
and Presbyterians we believe in the power of God to save sinners through the shed blood of the 
Lamb of God and we rest upon the Bible as our all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. 

"O where are Kings and Empires now, 

Of old that went and came? 

But, Lord, Thy church is praying yet, 

A thousand years the same." 



47 



CHRISTMAS AT BUFFALO 

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly!" That's what the members do at Christmas at 
Buffalo. Music plays such a vital role in the worship at our church and it is never more evident 
than at Christmas — from early December through the last days of the month. 

Each year since 1965 we have had a Colonial Christmas Candlelight Service. Doris 
Dale Paysour of the Greensboro Daily News had this to say in her column on Decem- 
ber 12, 1965: "The happiest of Christmas holidays brought together the colonists in joyful 
worship in a simple church of their own building, festooned with fruits and foliage of the season 
and filled with the carols of their hertiage." Such describes the Christmas spirit at Buffalo. 

As a result of the newspaper publicity and mild weather, a very large crowd attended on 
December 12, 1965. So many people from all over the county came that quite a number were 
turned away. Buffalo Church was decorated that night with English boxwood wreaths at each 
window and a large wreath hanging on the organ pipes. Two large arrangements on the 
rostrum contained red berries, red apples, magnolia foliage and holly and pine boughs. They 
not only looked lovely but their fragrance filled the sanctuary. After the musical program the 
congregation was invited to the Fellowship Hall for the tasty refreshments famous in the com- 
munity. The room was decorated in a colonial manner by Mrs. Harry Smith, Mrs. Leonard Bell, 
and Moir Ayers. Many women and some of the men were in colonial costume. People love 
Christmas music and each year continue to make a special effort to attend the Colonial Can- 
dlelight Service. 



"O come, O come, Emmanuel, 
And ransom captive Israel, 
That mourns in lonely exile here 
Until the Son of God appear. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!" 





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wl tL WOMEN 

GREENSBORO DAILY NEWS 

GREENSBORO, N.C., SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1965 




50 



A Colonial Christmas 
Candlelight Service 



In The 

San&uary of the Buffalo Presbyterian Church 

Greensboro, North Carolina 
December 12, 1965 

By a Company of Musicians under the Direction of Moir M. Ayers and Miss Beth Stout. 

assisted by 

Mrs. John Mcdcaris, Soprano; Mrs. Perry Tcaguc, Soprano; Miss Anne Ayers, So- 
prano; Mr. John Mcdcaris, Baritone; Mr. Rcid Morrison, Bass; Mrs. Moir M. Ayers, 
Organ: Miss Mary Alyce Watson, Violin; Mrs. Lucas Abels, Harpsichord; and the Rev. 
Cray W. Hampton, Jr., Reader. 



Organ Prelude — "Christmas Pastorale" 

Hymn of the Month — "It Came Upon The .Midnight Clear' 

Scripture Reading — Isaiah 40:1-5, St. Luke 2:6-11 

Prayer 

Selections by The Covenant Bell Ringers 

Anthem — "Born Today" 

Anthem— "The Birth Of Christ" 

Anthem — "From Heaven High The Angels Come" 

Choir 

Selections by The Covenant Bell Ringers 

Anthem — "Lo, How A Rose" 
Anthem — "The Snow Lay On The Ground" 
Anthem — "The Holly And The Ivy" 
Anthem — "A Joyful Christinas Song" 



Harker 

No. 58 



J. P. Sweelinck 

Jean Pasquct 

Dickinson 



Christiansen-Praetorius 

Sotvcrby 

Traditional English 

F. A. Geraert 



Choir 



Solo — "Sheep May Safely Graze" 



Mrs. Thomas Kilkelly 

Anthem — "Christ Was Born On Christmas Day" 

Anthem — "Sweet Was The Song" 

Anthem — "Sing We All Noel" 

Anthem — "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light' 



Bach 

Traditional German 

John Attcy 

Curtis York 

Bach 



Benediction 

Postlude — Sonata No. 



Choir 



Mary Alyce Watson — Violin 



Mr. Hampton 
Handel 



Following the benediction there will be a reception honoring members of the Euterpe Clu 
members of the congregation. 



guests, and 



Soprano 
Ann Ayers 
Mrs. Robert Ayers 
Mrs. George Brantley 
Mrs. Sidney Campbell 
Mrs. Gray Hampton 
Susan Hunsucker 
Mrs. Willard Isley 
Doris McKnight 
Mrs. John Medearis 
Mrs. Harold Mills 
Mrs. Parks Norman, Jr 
Mrs. Larry Russell 
Mrs. Perry Teague 
Martha Thompson 
Mrs. James Walters 
Mary Wells 
Martha Ann Wyrick 
Mrs. Alton Wyrick 



Members of the Choir 

Tenor 

Moir Ayers 
Paul Kister 
J. Frank Pickard 
Ray West 

Alto 

Mrs. Thomas Avent 
Shelton Ayers 
Mrs. Leonard Bell 
Mrs. Woodrow Culbreth 
Sue Dean 

Mrs. James Harvey 
Mrs. George Kiorpes 
Mrs. Paul Kister 
Mary Mclver 



Bass 

Herman Bell 
Leonard Bell 
Wayne Cates 
Vance Hart 
Silas Langfut 
John Medearis 
Reid Morrison 
Larry Russell 

Covenant Bell Ringers 
Lynn Holliday 
Chip Mcintosh 
Gary McNeil 
Margaret Proctor 
Margaret Shelton 
Marcia Smith 
Katherine Souf 1 " , 'orth 



51 




Thanksgiving at Buffalo 



52 



HISTORICAL RECORDS 

Buffalo Church is fortunate in that much historical data has been preserved. There are 
no sessional minutes from 1756 - 1833; it is assumed that they were lost. But there were thirty- 
two loose pages about the years from 1773 to 1796 which have recently been laminated and 
bound into one small volume. These pages contain the records of early trials before the Ses- 
sion, also complaints of resisting an officer, of getting drunk and breaking the Sabbath, of 
spreading reports detrimental to one's character. It is believed that the earliest records were 
destroyed when the British burned Dr. Caldwell's library in 1781. 

The Bames Historical Room contains much valuable information. Mr. Barnes, who 
died January 19, 1965, was historian of the church for many years and preserved many old 
records in a vault at Cone Mills. The Barnes Historical Room contains all of the pictures of our 
thirteen pastors except David Caldwell (none available). Here one will find the crude bookcase 
which housed the church's first library. A large handsome breakfront given by the White Fur- 
niture Company in honor of Mr. Roy McKnight contains a number of priceless books. Among 
interesting items there are many old tools which belonged to Mr. Lonnie Albright, Sr. 

Mr. Charles E. Kerchner joined Buffalo in 1933 and has kept complete and comprehen- 
sive records since he became Clerk of the Session on October 1, 1941. The Women of the 
Church keep records of the entire work of the church in an annual history. One copy of this 
history is retained in the library of the church and another is sent to the Historical Foundation 
in Montreat. Copies of the church bulletins have been bound in book form since 1957 and are 
available in the church library. 

When Buffalo Presbyterian Church was considered for nomination to the National 
Register of Historic Places, the following letter was written by Mr. Huffctetler to Dr. Larry E. 
Tise, Director of the Division of Archives and History in Raleigh, North Carolina: 
"Dear Sir: June 8, 1976 

We are highly pleased to learn that this church is being con- 
sidered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, and 
the following information is submitted, hoping it will help to determine 
our qualifications for this honor and recognition. 

"Buffalo is the oldest Presbyterian Church within the bounds of 
Guilford County as presently constituted and among the older churches 
of this area and the state. It was organized in the year 1756, obviously 
pre-dating the Declaration of Independence, also pre-dating the city of 
Greensboro and the county of Guilford. 

"The church is located in the northeast quadrant of the city of 
Greensboro and has been on its present site for its entire history of 220 
years. It has a membership of more than 400 people who live in prac- 
tically every section of Greensboro, with some scattered throughout the 
county. 

"The congregation worships in its third building, which was 
completed in 1827. Additions have been built on each end and the 
sanctuary has been renovated, but the main body of the structure 
remains as built 149 years ago. Two educational buildings have been ad- 
ded (one on either side), which are joined to the main building. The es- 
timated value of the property at present is $950,000.00. The grounds are 
beautifully landscaped and the buildings are in good condition. 

"Men from Buffalo Church have fought in every major American 
conflict, beginning with the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Guilford 
Courthouse was fought within the bounds of the area served by Buffalo 
Church and peopled with her members. Veterans of that conflict, in- 
cluding the leader, Col. Daniel Gillespie, lie buried in Buffalo's cemetery. 
The cemetery, with separate trustees and well-endowed, is kept in good 
condition. 

"Also buried here is the Rev. Dr. David Caldwell, Buffalo's first 
pastor, with his wife and several members of his family. His wife, Rachel, 
was the daughter of the Rev. Alexander Craighead, pioneer Presbyterian 
minister and leader in the Charlotte area. 

53 



u Dr. Caldwell was a leader in the colonies' fight for indepen- 
dence. According to his biographer and successor, The Rev. Dr. Eli 
Caruthers, he often preached on the subject of the existing difficulties 
between England and the American colonies. Hardly a Sabbath passed, 
Dr. Caruthers wrote, in which he did not allude to the subject in some 
way or other. The British put a price on his head and would have gladly 
paid it. 

"Caldwell was a native of Lancaster County, Pennslyvania. He 
founded the first school in the present bounds of the city of Greensboro 
and the surrounding area. It was called the Log College, named for his 
Alma Mater, the Log College of New Jersey, later and since known as 
Princeton University. From this school came many leaders of the 
colonial era, both political and ecclesiastical. Dr. Caldwell instilled 
within them a desire for freedom and a thirst for knowledge. Their in- 
fluence was felt throughout the southeast. 

"Dr. Caldwell himself was a member of the first state convention 
at Halifax in 1776 that framed the first state constitution; and he was a 
member of the state convention in 1788 that approved the federal con- 
stitution. Five men, trained under him, became governors of southern 
states, including Gov. Morehead of North Carolina. 

"Alexander Martin, an intimate friend of Dr. Caldwell and ap- 
parently a member of Buffalo Church, became governor in 1781 when 
Gov. Burke was captured by the Tories, and he was elected for five terms 
of two years each. He was a representative from North Carolina in the 
federal convention in 1786 that framed the national constitution, and a 
United States Senator in 1793. 

"Seven members of Buffalo Church served as State Senators 
prior to the War Between the States. Fifteen members served in the 
House of Commons of North Carolina before the end of the 19th Cen- 
tury. Ten members of Buffalo have served as High Sheriff of Guilford 
County. One served as a Superior Court Judge. Numerous others have 
served as county clerks and commissioners. 

"Books which have been published about Buffalo Church, her 
leaders and people are as follows: 

The Life of David Caldwell by the Rev. Dr. Eli Caruthers, 

published in Greensboro by Swaim and Sherwood in 1842. 

Buffalo Church and Her People by the Rev. S.M. Rankin, 

published in Greensboro by Joseph J. Stone in 1935. 

David Caldwell by Mrs. Ethel Arnett, published by Media, Inc. 
in Greensboro in 1976." 

Sincerely yours, 




Edsel M. Huffstetler 
Pastor 

BUFFALO RECOGNIZED AS HISTORIAL SITE 

In 1976, the Bi-Centennial Year of our nation, Buffalo Church was designated an 
historical site by the Historical Society of Guilford County. 

In 1976 Buffalo was enrolled in the American Presbyterian/Reformed Historical Sites 
Registry (Site No. 120) by the Presbyterian Historical Society of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

In 1980 the nomination of Buffalo Church to the National Register of Historic Places 
was approved by the North Carolina State Professional Review Committee for submission to 
the United States Department of Interior. 

54 



BUFFALO CHURCH TODAY 

"For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all genera- 
tions." (Psalm 100:5) So declared the Psalmist ages ago, and the present generation is as much 
a recipient of this blessing as any other. 

In God's Providence Buffalo Church continues as a faithful witness to its unchanging 
purpose: the salvation and nurture of souls. The proclamation of the Word of God stands at the 
very center of its ministry. 

The men, women, and youth, making up the present congregation, have come from 
diverse backgrounds. Some are descendants of the earliest members of Buffalo, others have 
come in at different points throughout the years, and some have joined us in recent months and 
years. The dedication of many of these is unexcelled by any generation. Serving in various 
capacities (officers, teachers, singers, etc.) they fulfill their God-given responsibilities in a most 
commendable manner. 

In a time when many, if not most, of her sister churches have abandoned all regular ser- 
vices beyond the Sunday morning worship, Buffalo continues to have a regular Sunday evening 
vesper service and mid-week prayer meeting. Her percentage of attendance at the Sunday mor- 
ning worship is higher than that of the "Bible Belt," which is higher than the national average. 

Interest in the Bible among the adults is attested to by the six, well-attended adult Sun- 
day School classes, and the concern of the people for the spiritual guidance and training of 
their youth is confirmed in the employment of a full-time Director of Christian Education and 
Youth Work. Additional opportunties for study and fellowship are offered on a regular basis 
through the Men and Women of the Church organizations and the youth groups. 

One cannot help being impressed by the beautiful and adequate facilities at Buffalo. 
The present membership can take pride in the fact that two of its three buildings were erected, 
the third renovated and enlarged, and all paid for during the past thirty years. 

The beauty of the grounds (often referred to by passers-by as the most beautiful in the 
city of Greensboro) has been kept and improved through the labors of present-day members. 

Comparatively speaking, the members of Buffalo do well in the stewardship of their 
possessions. As of 1979 the average per capita giving of this church was higher than that of 
Orange Presbytery, the Synod of North Carolina, or the General Assembly. 

Concern for local needs (beyond the congregation) is seen in Buffalo's support of such 
organizations as Young Life, Youth for Christ, Nat Greene Home for Boys, and the Greensboro 
Urban Ministry. 

A continued concern for World Missions is manifest in the regular support of mis- 
sionaries on two foreign fields, and a growing budget to special mission projects throughout the 
world. 

Buffalo Church today is grateful for its heritage, rejoices in its present blessings and op- 
portunities, and looks forward in hope to the future, ever laying hold of the promise, "that He 
who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 

(Phillippians 1:6) 

Edsel M. Huffstetler 
Pastor 



55 



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The Church Staff 

Katie Witherington, Charles Austin, Miriam Cooper, 
The Rev. Edsel M. Huffstetler. 



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Church Trustees 
Left to right: Moir M. Ayers, H. Clay Lambeth, Harry R. Smith, Jimmie L. Jones. 




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Left to right: Leonard Bell, Edward W. Fishburne, William F. McAdoo, 

Thomas E. McKnight. 
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Left to right: Hubert A. Nail, superintendent, Mrs. H. David Yow, secretary, W. Herbert M. 
Tucker, Sr., assistant superintendent. 

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After the close of the Sunday Morning Worship Service, the people still greet their friends and 
visit with one another. This has long been a tradition at Buffalo. 

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious 
unto thee, The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace " 

Numbers 6: 24-26 
79 



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